THE LEVANT – By Catherine Shakdam – While Israel’s war crimes against Palestinians date back from 1948 when hundreds of thousands of unarmed civilians – men, women and children – were forced out of their homes and their lands by Israeli troops, Israel’s latest war on Gaza has somewhat given a new focus to the Palestinian, so horrid and calculated have been Israel’s attacks on civilian populations.
Israel’s entire narrative of war, the very axis of its state policy has revolved around the demonization and dehumanization of Palestinians. While Israelis continue to claim the land of Palestine as their religious heritage, arguing that Palestinians should be dealt with permanently for Zion to be truly reborn, Jewish clerics have begged to differ, arguing that Israel is the evil which needs to be destroyed.
But let us look back first at some of Israel’s arguments when discussing the Palestinian issue. The following are arguments Israel has spun for the past several decades. We have used the latest data to highlight Israel’s lies.
The Gaza Strip isn’t occupied by Israel
Boston Globe: “Israeli-imposed buffer zones… now absorb nearly 14% of Gaza’s total land and at least 48% of total arable land. Similarly, the sea buffer zone covers 85% of the maritime area promised to Palestinians in the Oslo Accords, reducing 20 nautical miles to three.” Human Rights Watch: “Israel also continues to control the population registry for residents of the Gaza Strip, years after it withdrew its ground forces and settlements there.” B’Tselem, 2013: “Israel continues to maintain exclusive control of Gaza’s airspace and the territorial waters, just as it has since it occupied the Gaza Strip in 1967.”
Israel, unlike Hamas, doesn’t deliberately target civilians
The Guardian: “It was there that the second [Israeli] shell hit the beach, those firing apparently adjusting their fire to target the fleeing survivors. As it exploded, journalists standing by the terrace wall shouted: ‘They are only children.'” UN high commissioner for human rights Navi Pillay: “A number of incidents, along with the high number of civilian deaths, belies the [Israeli] claim that all necessary precautions are being taken to protect civilian lives.” United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, 2009: “The tactics used by the Israeli armed forces in the Gaza offensive are consistent with previous practices, most recently during the Lebanon war in 2006. A concept known as the Dahiya doctrine emerged then, involving the application of disproportionate force and the causing of great damage and destruction to civilian property and infrastructure, and suffering to civilian populations. The Mission concludes from a review of the facts on the ground that it… appears to have been precisely what was put into practice.”
Only Hamas is guilty of war crimes, not Israel
Human Rights Watch: “Israeli forces may also have knowingly or recklessly attacked people who were clearly civilians, such as young boys, and civilian structures, including a hospital – laws-of-war violations that are indicative of war crimes.”Amnesty International: “Deliberately attacking a civilian home is a war crime, and the overwhelming scale of destruction of civilian homes, in some cases with entire families inside them, points to a distressing pattern of repeated violations of the laws of war.”
Hamas use the civilians of Gaza as ‘human shields’
Jeremy Bowen, BBC Middle East editor: “I saw no evidence during my week in Gaza of Israel’s accusation that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields.” The Guardian: “In the past week, the Guardian has seen large numbers of people fleeing different neighbourhoods… and no evidence that Hamas had compelled them to stay.” The Independent: “Some Gazans have admitted that they were afraid of criticizing Hamas, but none have said they had been forced by the organisation to stay in places of danger and become unwilling human-shields.” Reuters, 2013: “A United Nations human rights body accused Israeli forces on Thursday of mistreating Palestinian children, including by torturing those in custody and using others as human shields.”
Hamas has never stopped firing rockets into Israel
Jewish Daily Forward: “Hamas hadn’t fired a single rocket since [2012 Gaza conflict], and had largely suppressed fire by smaller jihadi groups. Rocket firings, averaging 240 per month in 2007, dropped to five per month in 2013.” International Crisis Group: “Fewer rockets were fired from Gaza in 2013 than in any year since 2001, and nearly all those that were fired between the November 2012 ceasefire and the current crisis were launched by groups other than Hamas; the Israeli security establishment testified to the aggressive anti-rocket efforts made by the new police force Hamas established specifically for that purpose.. As Israel (and Egypt) rolled back the 2012 understandings – some of which were implemented spottily at best – so too did Hamas roll back its anti rocket efforts.”
Hamas rule, not Israel’s blockade, is to blame for the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip
US State Department cable: “Israeli officials have confirmed to Embassy officials on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis.. Israeli officials have confirmed.. on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy on the brink of collapse without quite pushing it over the edge.” The Guardian: “The Israeli military made precise calculations of Gaza’s daily calorie needs to avoid malnutrition during a blockade imposed on the Palestinian territory between 2007 and mid-2010, according to files the defence ministry released on Wednesday under a court order.. The Israeli advocacy group Gisha.. waged a long court battle to release the document. Its members say Israel calculated the calorie needs for Gaza’s population so as to restrict the quantity of food it allowed in.”
The Israeli government, unlike Hamas, wants a two-state solution
Times of Israel: “[Netanyahu] made explicitly clear that he could never, ever, countenance a fully sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank… Amid the current conflict, he elaborated, ‘I think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.'”
Since it would painstakingly long to list, demonstrate, denounce and argue all that Israel has done since 1948, we, at The Levant News thought best to make a video montage.
After all images speak louder than word!
Following you will find a series of videos which highlight the horrors committed by Israel onto civilian population and Jews’ rejection of Israel’s agenda.
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